Scientific News

Photon Bunching in a Rotating Reference Frame

"Although quantum physics is well understood in inertial reference frames (flat spacetime), a current challenge is the search for experimental evidence of nontrivial or unexpected behavior of quantum systems in noninertial frames. Here, we present a novel test of quantum mechanics in a noninertial reference frame: we consider Hong-Ou-Mandel (HOM) interference on a rotating platform and study the effect of uniform rotation on the distinguishability of the photons. Both theory and experiments show that the rotational motion induces a relative delay in the photon arrival times at the exit beam splitter and that this delay is observed as a shift in the position of the HOM dip. This experiment can be extended to a full general relativistic test of quantum physics using satellites in Earth’s orbit and indicates a new route toward the use of photonic technologies for investigating quantum mechanics at the interface with relativity."

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